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CRI Launches First Overseas FM Radio Station

China Radio International (CRI), China's only radio station running a world service, officially launched its first overseas FM radio station in Nairobi on Monday.

CRI 91.9 FM in Nairobi provides 19 hours of programming a day in English, KiSwahili and Chinese to about two million listeners in the capital of the East African nation.

The programs will cover China's economic, social and cultural development, China's friendly exchanges with African countries, and major events around the world. Listeners will also be able to enjoy music from China, Africa and the rest of the world and take part in programs.

Kenyan Minister for Information and Communications Mutahi Kagwe said, "CRI will indeed open a window through which Kenyans can listen to China's rich cultural heritage."

"I appreciate the vital role that China has played and continues to play in the economic development of Kenya. I am convinced that the launch of CRI in Nairobi will open up new possibilities of exchanges as well as create synergy in our different fields of social endeavour like culture, tourism and the media," Kagwe said.

CRI Director-General Wang Gengnian said at the launching ceremony that the FM radio service in Nairobi will help build a new bridge of friendship to facilitate communication and co-operation between the Chinese and Kenyan people.

"The new FM service in Nairobi is the first of its kind run by CRI outside China. Our mission here is to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and Kenyan people, as well as other African nations, by providing reports on China and Kenya, Africa and the world," Wang said.

The director-general said that CRI will make great efforts to provide the best programs to meet Kenyan listeners' needs, creating a link to China and the world for the Kenyan audience.

"(Kenyan) President Mwai Kibaki's visit to China last August further strengthened bilateral exchanges and co-operation in the fields of politics, economy, culture, education and so on. The new channel, 91.9 FM ... was designated as a joint co-operative program of the two governments," Wang said.

Tian Jin, China's vice minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, speaking in Beijing, commended the launch of the station as a major step to consolidate and strengthen the friendship between the governments and people of China and Kenya.

The station will provide the Kenyan people with quicker and easier access to the latest developments in China and the rest of the world, Tian said.

China Radio International, formerly known as Radio Beijing, was founded on December 3, 1941, with the aim of promoting understanding and friendship between the peoples of China and other countries.

(China Daily March 3, 2006)

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